Guide To The Christmas Racing

Father Christmas at Plumpton Racecourse

With so much racing action in prospect over the next few days, punters can be confused about where they may want to focus their attention.

With that in mind, we have produced our guide to the Christmas racing, which gives a low down on all the big races in prospect over the festive period, along with the star names running and the respective TV channels that will be showing all of the action.

Our free horse racing tips will be available throughout the holiday season, and for those wishing to take advantage of the bookmaker sign up offers available over Christmas – check out our free bets page!

26th December

Kempton – Racing TV (1.20, 1.55, 2.30 & 3.05 all covered by ITV)

Sedgefield – Sky Racing

Wetherby – Racing TV (2.10 covered by ITV)

Down Royal – Racing TV

Market Rasen – Racing TV

Leopardstown – Racing TV

Fontwell – Sky Racing

Wincanton – Racing TV

Limerick – Racing TV

Wolverhampton – Sky Racing

The feature on Boxing Day is undoubtedly the King George VI Chase at Kempton, which is likely to be a fantastic spectacle – with the highest-rated chaser in Britain – Cyrname – taking on the rapidly improving Lostintranslation, and last year’s winner Clan Des Obeaux.

Across the Irish Sea, however, we have two fantastic battles in Fakir D’oudairies v Laurina in the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase and Samcro v Faugheen in the Grade 1 Matchbook Betting Exchange Novice Chase.

27th December

Leopardstown – Racing TV

Limerick – Racing TV

Wetherby – Racing TV

Chepstow – Sky Racing (1.05, 1.35, 2.10 & 2.50 covered by ITV4)

Kempton – Racing TV (1.20, 1.55, 2.30 & 3.05 covered by ITV4)

Wolverhampton – Sky Racing

Chepstow plays host to a fantastic card – with the highlight undoubtedly being the Welsh Grand National, where the eagle-eyed will be able to spot our sponsorship of the second-last fence.

We also have Grade 1 action in Ireland, with Leopardstown hosting the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle – which has been won by the likes of First Lieutenant, Jezki and Sizing John in recent years.

Kempton is back for the second of their two-day Christmas Festival – where all eyes will be on National Hunt poster boy Altior if he takes up his engagement in the Grade 2 Desert Orchid Chase – a race that he has won impressively last year.

28th December

Lingfield – Sky Racing (2.10 covered by ITV4)

Newbury – Racing TV (1.50, 2.25, 3.00 & 3.35 covered by ITV4)

Catterick – Racing TV

Leopardstown – Racing TV

Limerick – Racing TV

Leicester – Racing TV (2.40 & 3.15 covered by ITV4)

Saturday sees the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle take centre stage, which was taken last year by Nicky Henderson’s Champ. Last season’s Cheltenham Champion Bumper third Thyme Hill currently heads the market for this year’s renewal, with Henderson well represented once again with recent course winners Son Of Camas and The Cashel Man.

That is not the only top-level action in prospect, however, with Leopardstown hosting the Grade 1 Frank Ward Memorial Hurdle – where the Willie Mullins-trained Benie Des Dieux will be potentially making her reappearance – and a cracking renewal of the Grade 1 Savills Chase, with another Willie Mullins absentee returning to the track in the shape of the exciting Kemboy.

29th December

Kelso – Racing TV

Doncaster – Sky Racing

Limerick – Racing TV

Southwell – Sky Racing

Leopardstown – Racing TV

A quiet day in regard to UK racing – with only Kelso and Doncaster hosting jumps cards alongside all-weather action at Southwell.

That is in stark contrast to the Irish action though, where Limerick has a competitive Grade 3 for four-year-olds and Leopardstown is back with another two Grade 1’s.

The first of those is the Neville Hotels Novice Chase, which has proved a good race for Gordon Elliott in recent years, with the County Meath-based Elliott training three of the last four winners. It is perhaps no surprise, therefore, to see his Battleoverdoyen currently hold favouritism.

Directly after that event, we have a chance to see the two-mile hurdlers in action in shape of the Grade 1 Matheson Hurdle – where Klassical Dream will be aiming to get his bid for Champion Hurdle glory back on track.

30th December

Lingfield – Sky Racing

Haydock – Racing TV

Taunton – Racing TV

A quieter day with no Irish racing in prospect. Lingfield hosts some competitive all-weather handicaps, whilst Taunton has a seven-race card which includes the Listed Byerley Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.

Weather permitting, Haydock also has a good card to get stuck into – with the highlight being a 0-145 handicap chase which is to be run over a gruelling extended 3m4f trip.

31st December

Lingfield – Sky Racing

Uttoxeter – Sky Racing

Warwick – Racing TV

Punchestown – Racing TV

Punchestown hosts their New Year’s Eve Countdown, which is alongside jumps action at Uttoxeter and Warwick – with Lingfield hosting a seven-race all-weather card which includes a competitive Class 2 handicap due to be run over a mile.

1st December

Catterick – Racing TV

Cheltenham – Racing TV (1.25, 2.00, 2.35 & 3.10 covered by ITV)

Exeter – Racing TV

Fairyhouse – Racing TV

Fakenham – Sky Racing

Musselburgh – Racing TV (1.40 & 2.15 covered by ITV)

Southwell – Sky Racing

Tramore – Racing TV

A bumper day of racing action to bring in the New Year, with eight meetings across the UK and Ireland.

Cheltenham’s card includes the Grade 2 888 Sport Dipper Novices Steeple Chase, and Grade 2 Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle – which has a recent roll of honour which includes the likes of Oscar Whisky, More Of That and Rock On Ruby.

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